Trap/Neuter/Return On Stray Cat Solutions Analysis
This paper addresses cat overpopulation and discusses the history and effectiveness of Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) programs to control feral cat populations. Based on an examination of successful TNR programs, the evidence shows it to be an effective and workable method for long-term population control. The article includes data describing successful TNR programs.
TNR programs are effective and workable programs to control feral cat populations. Examples of successful programs are located in:
- Alachua County, Florida – Sterilization of 22,000 cats resulted in decrease of shelter intake by 61% since 2000.
- Maricopa County Arizona – Within 8 years, euthanasia rate dropped from 23 to 8 cats per 1,000 county residents.
- Orange County, Florida – Six years after the introduction of TNR, complaints decreased by 10%, euthanasia decreased by 18% and cost savings totaled more than $100,000.
- San Diego, CA – Two years after the start of the TNR program, shelter intake of cats decreased by 34% and euthanasia rates dropped by 40%.
- San Francisco, CA – Within 6 years of the TNR program, euthanasia rates dropped 70%.
- New York City, NY – Stray cat intakes on the Upper West Side dropped by 73% within the first three years of the program. The first year alone say a 59% reduction in cat intakes.
- Cape May, NJ – The feral cat population has been reduced by one half.
- Atlantic City, NJ – The feral cat population under the boardwalk was reduced by over 70% within three years.
- Phillipsburg, NJ – During the first year, the stray cat population dropped by an estimated 350.
According to this article, the equation used to estimate feral cat populations equals three times the number of cats killed in shelters, plus net cat acquisition (number of cats added to households), less pet cat mortality. According to the Fibonacci Rule, 70% of all feral cats must be sterilized to reach a rate that will only replace normal attrition.